After Lengthy Floor Debate, New Hampshire House of Representatives Approves Marijuana Legalization

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director January 15, 2014

    After a heated and lengthy debate on the floor of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, the lower chamber of New Hampshire’s legislature today voted 170 to 162 in favor of House Bill 492, which seeks to legalize under state law the personal use and home cultivation of marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older and establish regulations for the retail production and sale of cannabis.

    The historic vote makes the New Hampshire House the first state legislative chamber to ever vote in favor of regulating cannabis.

    House Bill 492 had initially received a “Ought Not to Pass” report from the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. However, in New Hampshire legislative rules permit all House measures to receive floor votes by the full House. This afternoon, House lawmakers debated the measure for more than three hours before voting 170 to 168 to accept the committee report. But this was just the beginning.

    Members of the House of Representatives voted 173 to 165 to reconsider their actions and hold a revote. On their second vote, a majority 170 members voted to reject the “Ought Not to Pass” report. House lawmakers then voted to adopt amendments to adjust minor details of the bill. More debate ensued, but when the final vote was held 170 voted in favor of approving HB492 as amended and sending it to and 162 voted in opposition.

    “This vote is historic,” stated NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri, “Today’s vote approving House Bill 492 is the first time a chamber of a state legislature has ever approved of legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana for all adults. Fifty-eight percent of Americans support ending our prohibition on marijuana and the New Hampshire House of Representatives’ actions today signal that politicians are finally beginning to acknowledge the will of their constituents.”

    Tax issues pertaining to the bill will now be debated by the House Ways and Means Committee. A second House floor vote is anticipated in the coming months. However, Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan has already stated her opposition to this measure.

    NORML will keep you updated on this evolving situation.

    74 responses to “After Lengthy Floor Debate, New Hampshire House of Representatives Approves Marijuana Legalization”

    1. Is there any indication that the NH Senate has changed it’s mind since last year on the issue?

    2. Hollie says:

      Please, Tell Governor Maggie Hassan to reconsider her ” Veto Threat”, and to consider the will of her constituents… so far she refuses to reply

    3. Galileo Galilei says:

      The snowball just keeps rolling, getting bigger as it goes. I’m really delighted that I lived to witness this transformation in our country.

    4. R. DiBerto says:

      Once the NH Senate see how much money will be made on a yearly basis, they might hold back their opposition.
      Colorado made $6 million its first week.
      Now they have to make HEMP legal as well. With Hemp production (foods, fabric and fuel) this nation would be out of debt in 10 years or less.

    5. mike says:

      @R.Diberto do you have a source for the Colorado statistic? (I’d like to read more about it)

    6. pua mana says:

      More and More of these so-called “Legalization” Bills are appearing. BUT, THEY KEEP PERSONAL GROWING ILLEGAL !!!!!!!!
      How is it OK to go to the State and buy Commercially grown crap weed, but I can’t grow my own ORGANIC MEDICINE ???????

      [Paul Armentano responds: HB 492 allows for personal cultivation.]

    7. EJ Walker says:

      If you want to hear the anthem for NORML to march with go to


      and play the song It’s 4:20 Somewhere

    8. Driver says:

      what would this mean for commercial drivers who hold a medical card through the state of new hampshire?

      [Paul Armentano responds: New Hampshire’s nascent medical marijuana law is neither up and running nor would it offer protection for commercially licensed drivers who are under federal regulations.]

    9. Ray Walker says:

      Now thats the United States we love.
      Going to have to change your name to New Hempshire.
      I was having a bad day and now its not so bad.
      Thanks New Hampshire.